Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 2: 7/12

る-Verb (Negative)

Will/Does/Do (not)


​​() + ない
​​() + ない
() + ない


  • Part of Speech


  • Word Type

    Auxiliary Verb

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  • 品詞


  • 単語の種類


  • 使用域


About る-Verb (Negative)

The negative form of る-Verbs are conjugated based on the same set of rules used for other forms of る-Verb conjugation (removal of る, followed by the addition of something else). In the case of negation, the additional component will be ない (casual), or ません (polite).

While the common translation of ない and ません is simply 'not', they actually have several possible nuances. These nuances are 'don't' (usually not), 'won't' (intentionally not), or 'can't' (unintentionally not).

Both ない and ません are auxiliary verbs (ません is a conjugation of ます), meaning that they have their own set of conjugation rules.


The ない attached to make the negative form of adjectives is a different word, and therefore follows different conjugation rules. When attached to adjectives ない itself is an い-Adjective, and not an auxiliary verb.




    I don't eat sushi.


    I don't watch TV.


    I will not borrow money.


    I don't eat bread.


    I don't watch horror movies.

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る-Verb (Negative) – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (30 in total)

  • algannaio


    Think this topic requires more explanation on the differences between “naidesu” and “masen”. It’s not really explained why you’d use one over the other.

    Bumping this thread because this is my question too. The main item does say that the nuance difference between -ないです and -ません is that the former seems to indicate “unintentionally not” and the latter “intentionally not.”

  • Pablunpro



    If you read the grammar point carefully, it always speaks about -ない (casual) and -ません (polite). Actually, -ないです (another possibility for polite, perfectly explained by @nekoyama here) is not mentioned anywhere in the grammar point but only in the usage box in the upper left.

    Further to this, the several nuances referred to are applicable to the negative form as such, irrespective of the level of language. As usual, it all boils down to context.

    (The example sentences are unfortunate, though, as one is casual and the other polite so that it is easy to imply that casual = unintentional and polite = intentional, which is not the case. I guess these are the source of the misunderstanding.)


  • Lederhosen42


    Here to say that I also found this explanation and the examples unhelpful and potentially misleading. I still have no idea what dictates whether a negative form of a verb is intentional or not, but I almost got tricked into thinking that somehow polite/casual form might be a factor even though that didn’t make much sense to me.

    I tried looking at a few of the additional resource pages linked at the bottom and didn’t find any mention at all of what indicates intentional/unintentional. Maybe it’s mentioned in one of the videos that were linked, but I prefer reading/scanning over waiting through a 15+ minute video to see if my question is even answered. A citation might be useful here.

    Even just the addition of “Whether a negative form verb is interpreted as intentional or not is entirely dependent on context not covered here,” would be helpful in stopping folks from trying to make meaning from the two example sentences that isn’t there.

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